Social disorganization and new HIV diagnoses, 2013-2017, Florida: Rural-urban differences

Mary Jo Trepka, Rahel Dawit, Sofia B. Fernandez, Diana M. Sheehan, Abraham Degarege, Tan Li, Lorene M. Maddox, Emma C. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare the role of neighborhood social disorganization factors on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) diagnosis rates in urban and rural areas in Florida, we conducted an ecologic study of HIV diagnosis rates during 2013-2017 and social disorganization components, including concentrated disadvantage, ethnic heterogeneity, and residential instability. Methods: Indices of social disorganization components were obtained from principal component analyses of American Community Survey variables for 910 postal codes. Rural/urban classification was based on the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Urban Commuting Area codes. Using multivariable linear regression, the relationship between social disorganization indices and HIV diagnosis rates was assessed. Findings: The only social disorganization index that was significantly higher in rural than urban areas was concentrated disadvantage. In rural areas, the concentrated disadvantage index was significantly associated with HIV diagnosis rates (P =.007) when controlling for the other social disorganization factors but was no longer significant after additionally controlling for prevalence of people with an HIV diagnosis who were not virally suppressed. In urban areas, even after controlling for prevalence of people with HIV who were not virally suppressed, lower male-to-female population ratios and higher scores of residential instability, concentrated disadvantage, and LatinX/immigrant density indices were associated with higher HIV diagnosis rates (all P <.01). Conclusions: In addition to improving community levels of viral suppression, the community contextual environment, including the rurality of the environment, needs to be considered in strategies to end the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-969
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • HIV infections
  • HIV prevalence
  • social determinants of health
  • social disorganization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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